Thanks to a generous gift, an Eastman Institute for Oral Health periodontal alumnus will provide many residents an opportunity he wishes he had in the early 1990’s.
Dr. Douglas Dompkowski, who finished the EIOH Periodontal Residency program in 1995, has gifted $500,000 to help fund EIOH periodontal residents’ education through scholarship and fellowship support.
“I want to help residents so they don’t have to worry about finances during their residency,” said Dr. Dompkowski, a Buffalo, NY native. “Eastman afforded me the opportunity to have a great dental career and I benefitted from that, so it’s a way of giving back to dentistry.”
Dr. Dompkowski, pictured with EIOH Director Dr. Eli Eliav, knew he wanted to be a dentist since the second grade. Today, he has two private practice offices located in Bethesda and Rockville, Maryland. He has been named top periodontist in the area many times, including the Consumers’ Research Council of America from 2003-2016, the Washington Consumers’ CheckBook in 2016 and 2017, and the Washingtonian in 2003 and 2006.
At first, Dr. Dompkowski thought he would enjoy a career as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon because he loved the surgical aspect of dentistry. After further evaluation, he felt periodontics was a better match for his interests.
“Eastman has such a great reputation for its periodontal program, but due to the strong emphasis on academics, I didn’t think it would be the best place for me, because I knew I strictly wanted private practice,” he explained. “So [Department Chair] Dr. Caton allowed me to customize my education and develop more of a clinical aspect to my training.”
The training in basic science he received at EIOH proved to be very valuable to Dr. Dompkowski. “Initially, I didn’t realize how important the research component would be,” he said. “It’s helped me better understand the rationale behind various procedures. The clinical and research training at Eastman was outstanding.”
“During his residency training, Doug clearly stood out because he enthusiastically worked a lot of extra hours to maximize his clinical training,” said EIOH Periodontics Chair and Program Director Dr. Jack Caton. “Consequently, Doug graduated as an excellent and knowledgeable clinician. In addition to his support of alumni functions, Doug has provided generous support of the Caton Fellowship, which provides financial aid to senior residents and junior faculty to encourage those pursuing an academic career in periodontics. I am so excited and very grateful for his support and this $500,000 endowment. For generations to come, residents will benefit from Doug’s generosity. His gift will allow the program to continue to attract the very best residents, regardless of their financial situation.”
“We were able to address Dr. Dompkowski’s philanthropic goals for Eastman, and his personal plans for his eventual retirement, by structuring a life-income gift that gives him charitable tax deductions year after year and a stream of income from the University in the future” explained Christopher Raimy, executive director of Gift Planning.
Aside from a successful career in clinical periodontology and implant dentistry, Eastman gave him something else.
“The relationships that I developed at Eastman more than 22 years ago have turned into lifelong friendships,” said Dr. Dompkowski. “No matter where we live in the country, we’ve maintained those friendships and enjoy reconnecting at professional meetings.”
Dr. Dompkowski is an active member of the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Periodontology, the Southern Maryland Dental Association, and the Academy of Osseointegration. He also teaches at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry. In addition, Dr. Dompkowski lectures extensively nationally and internationally on many aspects of periodontal and implant treatment.
“It’s been a pleasure getting to know Dr. Dompkowski and to see his philanthropic goals at EIOH become a reality,” said Bryan Winters, director of EIOH Advancement and Alumni Relations. “His gift will have a truly meaningful impact. I believe that his gift is the catalyst we’ve needed as we begin our Centennial capital improvements phase. Hopefully his gift will inspire others to make a gift that is important to them.”
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